The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world ever came to nuclear war. The United States and the Soviet Union were well prepared to use battlefield nuclear weapons. Do to President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, war was not a threat.
 In 1962, the Soviet Union was desperately behind the United States in armed missiles. The Soviet's missiles were only powerful enough to be launched against Europe but U.S. missiles were capable of striking the entire Soviet Union. In late April 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had a idea of placing intermediate-range missiles in Cuba. This would give the Soviets a fair fight against the U.S. In the summer of 192 worked in secret to build its missile installations in Cuba.

Missile Map
Missile Map

A spy plan revealed Soviet missiles under construction in Cuba. Early the next day, President John Kennedy was informed of the missile installations. Kennedy immediately organized the EX-COMM, a group of his twelve most important advisors to handle the crisis. After seven days of guarded and intense debate, Kennedy concluded to impose a naval quarantine around Cuba. He wished to prevent the arrival of more Soviet offensive weapons on the island. On October 22, Kennedy announced the discovery of the missile installations to the public and his decision to quarantine the island. He also proclaimed that any nuclear missile launched from Cuba would be regarded as an attack on the United States by the Soviet Union and demanded that the Soviets remove all of their offensive weapons from Cuba.
Tensions finally began to ease on October 28 when Khrushchev announced that he would dismantle the installations and return the missiles to the Soviet Union, expressing his trust that the United States would not invade Cuba. 

President Kennedy addresses the nation of the missile crisis that is occurring in Cuba.